Landing Your First Gig

Completing your first gig is a huge accomplishment. Getting there, however, is not an easy task. Check out the guide below for some help!

  1. Applying
  2. Interviewing
  3. Initiating the Contract
  4. Working on the Gig
  5. Gigging it Right
  6. Final Submission
  7. Providing and Receiving Feedback
  8. Getting Paid

1. Applying

If you’ve done your ground work, then you’ve found some awesome gigs. Before you hit Apply, make sure you know what to expect.

Step 1: Research the Gig

Google is a great place to start for learning more about gigs that interest you, so start searching! Most of the gigs that we offer are student friendly, which means that you’re definitely capable of doing them. If you’re still unsure what certain gigs are all about, please reach out via Chat or at for some help! 

Once you’ve done your research, then you’re ready start you application!

*Tip: employers must fund a portion of their gig before they can post on Uplancer. This is one of the reasons why employers will take you seriously and why, you should take them seriously too, by doing your own research.



Step 2: Apply

The most important part of your application is your cover page, where you’ll have the chance to stand out and show employers why you’re such a good fit for their gig.

Highlight who you are as a student and some of your accomplishments. Talk the talk and be confident in what you’re doing. College has prepared you to learn on the go and to apply those learnings in real life. 

There’s also a bid or an asking price that’s required in your application. If you have an idea of how long it takes for to complete the gig, adjust your bid to reflect your efforts. When in doubt, just leave the bid as is or ask us for some help.

When you’re confident in your application, click Apply to submit it! Your employer will receive your application and will notify you if you were selected for an interview.

*Tip: when bidding, there are two general rules of thumb: quicker turnaround times and more complex gigs should cost more. If you feel like the gig is under budget, put in a higher bid! 


2. Interviewing

Not everyone is invited to an interview. However, if you do your homework, your chances of getting one will increase. You’ll be notified of an interview and the interview process will begin in the Chat. 

Step 1: Be Prepared

During this stage, your employer is trying to understand you and whether you’re a good fit for the gig. This is also your chance to understand whether the employer is a good fit for you. Remember, anything that you’ve included on your profile or application is fair game. So be prepared to talk and answer any questions that employers may have about you.

Step 2: Stay Professional

Chat is just one aspect of getting to know your employer. If your employer would like to video chat, feel free to set up a Zoom or a Skype call. Remote work can make things informal at times, so keep your communications professional; show up to your meetings on time and keep in mind that this is an interview.

*Tip: as you learn more about the gig and the employer, what type of communication are they expecting? Is it an immediate response? What type of communication channel? Outlining these early on will help you maintain professional relationship with the employer.


Step 3: Use Your Best Judgement

For some gigs, it’s normal for employers to ask for samples. There’s nothing wrong with this but try to protect yourself with water marks or by limiting the amount of effort on samples to share with them. 

When in doubt, ask questions to clarify any of your concerns. We’re also here to help so feel free to contact us via Chat or at

*Tip: some employers may ask you to take the gig off platform. We highly discourage this and cannot guarantee that they’ll honor your contract and pay you once the gig is complete. To prevent this, keep conversations and work submissions on the Uplancer platform.


Step 4: Ask Yourself, Is This Technically a Gig?

This may sound trivial, but do you understand What is a Gig? It can get fuzzy at times and it’s important to know what an employer can and can’t do while you’re working on their gig. If you’re unsure, feel free to reach out to us via Chat or at

Be careful and protect yourself. Otherwise, you and your employer may get into trouble with Uncle Sam by not following the rules.



Step 5: Review

Once you and your employer are on the same page, do you agree with their terms? Just some terms to consider:

  • Budget
  • Turnaround time
  • Start date
  • Communication style of the employer
  • The scope of the work

If you agree to these terms, then you know that this is the right gig for you.

*Tip: the scope can change depending on the type of gig. Always be careful of this and set expectations early on in your conversations. The less ambiguity there is, the easier it is for you to hit the mark for your employer.

3. Initiating the Contract

Once the employer is confident that you’re the right fit for the gig, they will send you an offer.

Step 1: Check the Offer

Your job is now to verify in writing, that what’s being offered reflects what was discussed during your interview. This includes the scope, payment, and turnaround time. You should also check that the skills match your interests so you’ll gain experience for your skill badges. If everything looks good, review the Uplancer Terms of Service. If you agree to the terms and conditions, check that you agree and submit. You’ve officially initiated the gig contract.

4. Working on Your Gig

Completing your gig will take some trial and error. With a bit of persistence, you’ll be able to finish the gig while meeting employer expectations.

Step 1: Stay on top of Things

Your first gig will require a lot of planning on your part to account for exams and other commitments that may arise. If it’s your first time doing a certain type of work, you won’t have a baseline of your skill level and work speed. Make sure you complete your studies before you even consider picking up a gig. 

*Tip: your weekends may become your friend. This may be the only free time you have to knock out the gig. 


Step 2: Commit to Learning

Beyond just earning money, gigs offer the opportunity to learn more about different types of work. Going from zero to completing a gig is a huge task. You’ll definitely need to take advantage of all the available resources at your disposal, such as online resources and our Uplancer Coaches. The more you learn, the quicker you’ll be at getting things done.

Need some help? Connect with a Coach via Chat or at


Step 3: Manage Your Employer’s Expectations

Keep employers in the loop. When you do, your employers will have peace of mind that you’re making progress and on track to finishing on time. You can always share your progress at any point with a brief message to your employer or by sharing your work.  

In addition, always be in control of your work. In fact, confirm that you are indeed, working on a gig. By knowing what your employers can and can’t do, you will be able to dictate the outcome of the gig.

5. Gigging it Right

As you’re working, ensure that your work meets employer expectations.

Step 1: Maintain Excellent Communication

When you keep your employers in the loop, you give them the opportunity to make corrections and guide you throughout the gig. As a result, your work becomes more in line with their expectations. Otherwise, you may end up having to redo everything after submitting your final work to your employer!

*Tip: don’t let employers change the scope of your gig. Corrections should guide you to completing the gig successfully. However, we’ve seen when this was not the case. For example, you were expected to write a 500 word article about cats. However, your employer now demands a 1,500 word article about rocket propulsion in an infinite vacuum. This is an example of a change of scope.


Step 2: Ask for Help 

Employers can be indecisive. Sometimes, you have no other options other than deciding for them. Or you can reach out to us for some guidance. Connect with coach via Chat or at for assistance.

6. Final Submission

You’re just one click away from finishing this gig!

Step 1: Be Confident in Your Work

By maintaining excellent communication with your employer throughout the gig, you’ve reduced your chances of rework at the end of your gig. All you have to do now is submit your work and request for payment. 

*Tip: it’s OK to submit your work if you’re unsure if it meets employer expectations. Your employer will either accept or reject your work, as well as leave comments as to why.


7. Feedback

When your gig is finally done, you and your employer are given the opportunity to provide feedback to one another.

Step 1: Be Honest

Feedback goes both ways and honesty goes a long way. Let others know about your whole experience with your employer. With your honest feedback, employers can improve the gig experience for you or other students in the near future.

More importantly, you want honest feedback about you from employers. Life is all about learning and by learning from their feedback, you’ll become a better worker.


8. Getting Paid

Congratulations on completing your first gig! Now it’s time to get paid. 

Step 1: Check Your Finances

Navigate to the resources tab and explore your finances. Once the contract is complete, you’ll receive a deposit of the gig budget, less a 10% service fee into your account. In other words, for every 100 USD, 90 USD goes to you and 10 USD is charged as a service fee. 

When it’s time to withdrawal funds, click on the Withdrawal button and fill out your Stripe details. Stripe is a payment processing service provider that ensures you get paid with a payment method that works for you.

*Tip: there are multiple ways to get paid out. However, to reduce transaction fees, ACH payment is the cheapest way to go. You’ll see why when you compare fees associated with the different payout methods.